Tom Burnam: Dictionary of Misinformation



A nice book to dip into and out of like a cold running stream Yes the Internet has replaced reat bathroom books like this it dates from the mid 1970s but the overall message of the book if you read it from cover to cover is don t be stupid check your facts statistics can be misused and valid is not the same as true I recommend this book highly for those tired of lies and bluster and that orange man who is soProud of his TV ratings Here are your waters and your watering place Drink and be whole again beyond confusion I remember reading bits of this in a dog eared mass market paperback when I was in high school My much smarter friend Scott had read it and I wanted to be as brainy as he was But then he took back his copy and I forgot about he book entirely until seeing it mentioned in a Ken Jennings acknowledgment So bought a used copy and read it straight throughA terrific book for pedants and know it alls and while I now a fair bit of what you can find in here there was enough that I had no idea about whatsoever to make it worthwhile reading Unfortunately this book was written in the seventies and so there are many references to countries no longer in existence and so forth making. A remarkable book that contains enough information to help you win bets the rest of your life The bagpipe was not a Scottish invention Abner Doubleday did not invent baseball at Cooperstown or anywhere else in America London's Big Ben is.

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N t wither at all and it Animal Babies grows neither early nor late itrows all the time as anyone knows who owns or is owned by a laurel hedge In all fairness it should be added that Housman may have had in mind sprigs of laurel picked from the bush or made into a sort of Offenders and Detainees garland said to have been worn by Greek and Roman athletes and emperors If so then it must be submitted that in a personal experiment conducted by the writer the laurel still wins leaves down Or rather upA rose cut fresh and a sprig of laurel approximately ten inches 250 mm in length were both placed in a vase containing ordinary tap water After twenty four hours the rose showed distinct signs of deterioration After seventy two hours the issue was no longer in doubt the laurel remained apparently fresh while the rose had clearly yielded up thehost It is thus clear that Mr Housman himself a scholar trained in the classics sacrificed Truth on the altar of Art 4 12 stars This book reveals a lot of facts that many people have missed Some people thought a thing was a fact but in fact it s a misinformation This book was written in 1974 so it would be nice to see an Some ee whiz stuff here but certainly nothing earth shattering. Lindbergh No witches were burned at Salem Edison did not invent the light bulb Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes never said Elementary my dear Watson Mark Twain was not born in Hannibal Missouri And alas there is no such thing as an aphrodisi.

The reading of this very much like what it was back in the eighties A reat encyclopedia of knowledge It s a must read for modern times A ood concept but it s certainly hurt by its age at this point Also long entries on minor rammatical points were particularly annoying Definitely some useful misinformation though Things like Robert Fulton invented the steamboat I really enjoyed learning about some of the various Shakespearean uotations and what they actually mean in context often the opposite of their use as sayings This book introduced me to the joys of pedantic contrarianism and probably safeguarded my virginity for many years Still Dead-End Road Mysteries glad I read it This is a uick easy to read encyclopedia of widely held beliefs straightened out This bolsters my belief that uotes are often inaccurate and or wrongly ascribed Also folk etymologies and remediesenerally are baseless A browseable and enlightening little book full of Hear the Wolves gemsAnd early though the laurelrowsIt withers uicker than the roseThese lines from AE Housman s somber and beautiful poem To an Athlete Dying Young must be taken with a rain or two of poetic license Laurel is in point of fact an extremely hardy perennial It does. Neither a clock nor a tower Robert Fulton did not invent the steamboat and the boat he built was not called the Clermont Cleopatra was not Egyptian Lizzie Borden was acuitted Scores of persons had flown nonstop across the Atlantic before.

Tom Burnam æ 1 SUMMARY